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Guardians of American Letters Fund

The Library of America was founded in 1979 to undertake a historic endeavor: to help preserve the nation's cultural heritage by publishing America's best and most significant writing in durable and authoritative editions. For the first time in our history, the full range of outstanding American writing from Whitman and Poe to Flannery O'Connor and William Faulkner, from Emerson and Henry James to Richard Wright and Robert Frost is now being systematically preserved as a vital part of our country's heritage and made widely available to the public in authoritative, uniform editions.

For the first time in our history, the full range of outstanding American writing is now being systematically preserved in authoritative, uniform editions.

The mission of The Library of America does not end with publication, however. The organization is committed to keeping continuously in print and available the works that have been so critical to the formation of American culture and that continue to have an enduring influence in our national life. The cost of this commitment increases with the publication of each new volume.

To address this situation and to develop a kind of endowment, the Guardians of American Letters Fund was created. In this tax-deductible program, donors who contribute to the Fund help to keep the entire series available in print forever.

To endow a volume, a donor makes a one-time contribution of $50,000 to the Fund. In recognition of this generosity, the donor's name appears on a special acknowledgment page of every future printing of the volume of the donor's choice. A sample citation reads as follows:

Mark Twain’s
The Gilded Age and Later Novels
is kept in print in honor of
by a gift on his 90th birthday from his wife
Jeanette Sarkisian Wagner
to the Guardians of American Letters Fund, established by The Library of America to ensure that every volume in the series will be permanently available.

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Volumes may be endowed in honor or in memory of a friend, family member, or colleague, with a suitable citation. Several individuals may wish to contribute to the Fund as a group. For example, five individuals might each contribute $10,000; all donors would be listed in the volume they select.

For a list of volumes available for adoption, click here (PDF).
For more information, contact Cheryl Hurley at:

The Library of America
14 East 60th Street
New York, New York 10022
Phone: (212) 308-3360
Fax: (212) 750-8352

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